Budget: the government is trying to forge a first alliance with LR

Posted Nov 2, 2022, 6:29 PMUpdated Nov 2, 2022, 7:57 PM

From theory to practical work? Last week, Emmanuel Macron said he “wished for an alliance” with the LR deputies and the centrists of the “Liot” group, the only ones who did not vote for one of the motions of censure tabled by the Nupes and the RN. A first opportunity already seems to be emerging on the budgetary texts, even though Elisabeth Borne was forced to resort this Wednesday to a new 49.3 for the expenditure component of the finance bill for 2023.

Thus the government is trying, according to our information, to obtain an agreement from LR to have its public finance programming law (LPFP) adopted by 2027, despite being rejected at first reading in the National Assembly, including by the right-wing elected officials. Hope also relates to the amending finance bill for 2022 just made official on Wednesday.

“A path is possible, it would fit into what the head of state has announced,” said a government source. “We have not given up hope of having the LPFP adopted, I have the impression that LR is reconsidering its position”, confirms Jean-René Cazeneuve (Renaissance), general rapporteur for the Budget at the Assembly, which judges however “that it is less an alliance than a logic of search for agreements text by text, similar to that which we have carried out since this summer”.

Meetings in the Senate

Bercy spares no effort in any case. Last week, the Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, went to the Senate to meet with its president Gérard Larcher, but also Bruno Retailleau – the president of the LR group – and Jean-François Husson (also LR ), general rapporteur of the budget of the High Assembly. Contacts were also maintained with certain right-wing figures in the National Assembly, such as Véronique Louwagie.

These discussions were obviously not useless. “We are not in a frontal attitude of confrontation, the country needs to come together. We have set our conditions, the government must hear us,” says Jean-François Husson. “The country has an interest in having a law for programming its public finances. We have no alternative but to discuss”, adds Véronique Louwagie. For Bruno Retailleau, “there is no question of excluding compromise. But it has to be serious, not pretense, with a real return to budgetary seriousness”.

The demands of the right

This programming law was precisely examined this Wednesday in the Senate. A way for the right to put several demands on the table. It intends in particular to repeal the new mechanism wanted by the executive to push local authorities to control their spending. LR would also like to accelerate the return to 3% deficit from 2025, two years before the government target. “The question of the trajectory of public finances will undoubtedly be the most difficult, but it is essential,” says Véronique Louwagie.

Finally, the right-wing elected representatives are pushing to increase the effort to reduce spending by the State from -0.4% to -0.5% on average per year, so as to align it with what is required of the local communities. “To achieve this, the government must find 3.8 billion in additional savings from 2023, this is one of the essential points in our eyes”, advances Jean-François Husson. “Savings must be found next year,” adds Bruno Retailleau.

The opening of Bruno Le Maire

On the side of the presidential camp, we are opening the door to discussions on these subjects, with the hope of reaching an agreement during the joint joint commission planned between deputies and senators in the coming days.

“You have proposed 37 billion euros in spending cuts to reach a 3% deficit in 2025. This seems excessive to me, but I am certain that our joint work must make it possible to bring out realistic and concrete proposals”, launched Wednesday the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, in front of the senators. “The trajectory can only be modified marginally given our constraints”, warns Jean-René Cazeneuve.

The latter also wants to believe that the majority will be able to avoid recourse to 49.3 for the adoption of his amending budget. “We are 7.2 billion in lower spending or additional revenue, half of which goes to protective measures for the French and the other half to reducing the deficit. It is a balanced text, it is difficult to be against and to obstruct, ”said the deputy from Gers.

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